by Richard Mann - Thursday, October 9, 2014
Gamo’s Whisper Fusion Pro air rifle possesses a rather futuristic appearance—especially if your idea of an air rifle is a Red Ryder BB gun. But times change, and the recreational airguns of the 1960s and ’70s have evolved into serious shooting machines, some even suitable for small-game hunting. The Whisper Fusion Pro exemplifies that development.Gamo airguns have been around, at least in Spain, since 1961. It wasn’t until 1995, though, with the formation of Gamo USA Corp., that Gamo airguns became readily available in the United States. Today, Gamo is the largest manufacturer of pellets in the world and the leading airgun manufacturer in Europe.
The spring-piston-powered Whisper Fusion Pro is a slightly more powerful version of the company’s Whisper Fusion rifle. With a spring-piston air rifle the power comes from spring compression, which is a manual operation performed by the shooter. To compress the spring in the Whisper Fusion Pro, grab the end of the rifle’s barrel, and pull it down and to the rear, where it will stop after about 135 degrees of travel. This requires, according to Gamo, about 41 pounds of force.
The power provided by the spring piston is incredibly consistent. I fired 30 shots with three different pellet types over a chronograph placed 10 feet from the muzzle. Outstandingly, the average maximum velocity deviation for all 30 shots from the Whisper Fusion Pro was just 16 fps; in fact, the largest single velocity variation was only 28 fps. This is consistency almost unapproachable with bullets pushed by smokeless propellants.Velocities this consistent should produce good accuracy, but what is good airgun accuracy? The tendency is to compare an air rifle to a .22 rimfire, particularly when velocities are approaching that of one. A good-shooting .22 rifle will put five shots into 1 inch or less at 50 yards. Most air rifles will not.
I fired five, five-shot groups using three different pellet types from a sandbag rest at 50 yards with the Whisper Fusion Pro, which was topped with a 3X-9X-40mm Gamo air-rifle scope. The average for all groups was 3.78 inches. This hardly qualifies as a 50-yard small-game rifle. However, at 25 yards the Whisper Fusion Pro produced several sub-inch, five-shot groups, and that is plenty accurate for hunting squirrels and rabbits. In fact, Executive Editor Adam Heggenstaller and his team used Whisper Fusion Pro rifles to win the Gamo Squirrel Master Classic last February.
The rifle is large and relatively heavy for an airgun, but it balanced very nicely at a point just forward of where you would find the front action screw on a bolt-action centerfire rifle. When shouldered, the rifle did not seem overly heavy, and it was easy and comfortable to hold on target. The adult proportions of the stock helped with on-shoulder comfort and stability.
The height of the synthetic stock’s comb should align most shooters’ eyes with the open sights. That makes it a bit low for optimum use with a riflescope, but the sights are so good it may not matter. A red fiber-optic pipe tops the front sight, which rides beneath a ventilated hood. The rear blade is wide and flat with two green fiber-optic inserts on each side of a square notch. It also has large thumb dials for windage and elevation adjustments. If you prefer an optic, the receiver is dovetailed for scope mounts.
Integral to the synthetic stock, the trigger guard houses Gamo’s Smooth Action Trigger (SAT). In front of the trigger a plastic lever serves as the safety; push it forward in order to fire the rifle. A slot in the bottom of the trigger guard allows access to the trigger adjustment, a small screw immediately behind the trigger.
The two-stage SAT requires about 1/4 inch of take-up, during which no noticeable resistance is felt, and then about 4 pounds of pressure to release. It’s smooth and consistent, but the trigger has a slightly mushy feel. For an airgun trigger, it’s great; the SAT is better than the triggers of many, much more expensive, rimfire and centerfire rifles.
The Gamo Whisper Fusion Pro proved to be unfailingly reliable and plenty accurate for targets or small-game hunting out to around 30 yards. It was neat to hear the supersonic crack of the 5-grain pellets when they broke the sound barrier, and just as pleasing to pull an air-rifle trigger that was consistent and not springy or heavy. Add to that a 3X-9X-40mm scope with an adjustable objective, a scope base and rings—all of which come with the rifle and together represent a $100-plus value—and it’s easy to see why Gamo is quickly becoming one of the most popular airgun brands here in America, too. ah
Type: spring-piston single-shot air rifle
Caliber: .177 (tested), .22
Barrel: 18"; fluted, polymer-jacketed steel; 2 grooves, 1:18" RH twist; integral noise dampener
Trigger: 2-stage, adjustable SAT; 3.75-lb. pull weight
Sights: red fiber-optic front; fully adjustable green fiber-optic rear
Safety: 2-position lever in front of trigger
Stock: black synthetic with raised cheek piece; LOP 14"
Metal Finish: blued
Overall Length: 46.5"
Weight: 8 lbs.
Accessories: Gamo adjustable-objective 3X-9X-40mm scope, base, rings
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